Brodner’s Cartoon du Jour: David Levine

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Once, in public, I got to tell David some of the reasons why we hold him in such high esteem. I mentioned how his work combined many tasks at once and was masterly in all of them. That he, better than anyone in our times, could tell a larger story within the confines of a face. The turn of an eyelash (as in Nixon). The cogency of a metaphor, as in LBJ shedding crocodile tears (and the croc returning the favor). How moral focus and political courage combined in him. He didn’t respond really to any of this. He was very modest in his way; a hardworking artist who understood the truth of our lives: that nothing matters but the relationship between you and the piece of paper. Any analysis is, at its worst, bullshit, and at best, a benign distraction because it never really catches the plasticity and dynamism of a living artist’s process. He knew what was important. The discoveries you make as an artist. The connections between the pictures and people. This was in him and in his work. His art was always about people, their relationships to each other and systems that could elevate or crush them. As a young person in the Depression and during the war he learned from his parents and his culture (now fading) that social responsiveness could be a genuine focus of someone’s life. And so maximum integration of art, observation of systems, and humanity found its home in Levine. And he demonstrated over and over again his brilliant synthesis. We have books of Gillray, Daumier, Nast, Grosz, Low, Mauldin, and Levine which continually demonstrate mastery of this challenge. The work we do is in part the result of the conversations we all have with these geniuses all the time. And they are HERE. Alive, burning brilliantly. Always speaking from the place David Levine always was in life. Always in relationship, always connected, always integrated. And there he will be for all of us forever.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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